** I’ve started a new Facebook-based book club! Learn more HERE.**
This month’s book is: Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol.
Summary (from BN.com):
When Alice tumbles down, down, down a rabbit-hole one hot summer’s afternoon in pursuit of a White Rabbit she finds herself in Wonderland. And there begin the fantastical adventures that will see her experiencing extraordinary changes in size, swimming in a pool of her own tears and attending the very maddest of tea parties. For Wonderland is no ordinary place and the characters that populate it are quite unlike anybody young Alice has ever met before. In this imaginary land she encounters the savagely violent Queen, the Lachrymose Mock Turtle, the laconic Cheshire Cat and the hookah-smoking Caterpillar, each as surprising and outlandish as the next.
1. If you’ve never read the story before, what is your first impression of the book? If you have read the story before, how do you feel about reading the story again?
2. What would you do if you saw the White Rabbit? Would you follow him?
3. Do you believe Alice is dreaming? Or is this a figment of her imagination?
4. Why is the smallest door the only one Alice is able to get through? Is there any significance behind this? Is there any significance to Alice’s constant changing size?
Movie Comparison: In the book, the door handle doesn’t speak. In the cartoon movie, it does. Why make it talk in the movie instead of Alice realizing on her own about the key and the bottle that says “Drink Me?”
6. What is the significance of the Caucus Race, if there is one?
7. After seeing the White Rabbit, would your reaction be different or the same upon seeing the talking mouse and the birds?
8. At this point, what effect is Wonderland having on Alice’s logic? Do you feel Wonderland is a version of what’s going on in Alice’s own mind as she enters adulthood?
9. Alice states that she used to read fairy tales and is now in the middle of one. Does this statement change your response to question #3 (or #9) about what Wonderland is to Alice?
10. Why do you feel the puppy Alice meets is ordinary compared to the magical land it lives in?
Movie Comparison: Why do you think the puppy was removed from the Alice in Wonderland movies?
11. If Wonderland is Alice’s own logic, what role does the Caterpillar play?
12. What is your take on the riddle Alice recites, “You are Old, Father William?” Why does the Caterpillar say that Alice’s version is wrong from beginning to end?
13. Why does the Duchess’s baby turn out to be a pig?
14. Why does the Cheshire Cat say that if Alice is in Wonderland she must be mad, too?
15. Why is Time a “him” and not an “it?”
16. Why is a raven like a writing desk?
17. Explain the difference between these phrases:
– I mean what I say and I say what I mean
– I see what I eat and I eat what I see
– I like what I get and I get what I like
– I breathe when I sleep and I sleep when I breathe
18. Why the Queen of Hearts? Is there any significance to that suit being used instead of the others? Why playing cards?
19. How do you feel about the role reversal in Wonderland, where inanimate objects talk and rule over other creatures, and living things like animals are used as croquet equipment?
20. Why does the Duchess try to find a moral in everything? How is this reflected in Alice’s logic?
21. What’s your view on the Mock Turtle’s defintion of “Lessons?”
No Questions for this Chapter
22. Why is the court room the same as the courts in Alice’s reality? How does it relate to the Caucus race?
23. In this chapter, when does Alice start to realize Wonderland is a dream and she can wake up from it?
24. Why does Alice’s sister imagine some of the things Alice has told her about her dream?
25. What is the significance of the end? Did Alice grow up since the beginning?
26. At this point, who is your favorite character and why?
27. Which character can you most relate to?
28. What’s your favorite “weird” thing in Wonderland?
Book Club Dare (optional): Watch Alice in Wonderland, either the cartoon movie, the live version, or both if you havent already seen them. Leave a comment on which you liked better and how they compare to the novel.
Book Club Project (optional): Create one of the crafts/recipes from this link, and leave a comment about it. Include a link to a photo of what you created.
Through the Looking Glass
1. Explain the difference between the world through the Looking Glass and the world of Wonderland. How are they both different in comparison to the way Alice experiences them?
2. Why do you think Alice is invisible to the Chess Peices?
3. Everytime Alice tries to leave the garden she returns back home. Why?
4. Does the Queen’s telling of the squares Alice will land on in the chess game, foreshadow who she will meet in the later chapters?
5. Already, Alice’s adventures are following the chess board game rules, by jumping to the next two squares while on the train. How do you feel about the story being told in relation to playing chess?
6. Alice learns that through the looking glass everything is named for what it is and is supposed to do. In her world everything is named to classify or label certain things. Which way do you feel is the better way of naming?
7. In this chapter, TweedleDee and TweedleDum tell Alice that she is a figment of the Red King’s dream and that if he wakes up she will disappear. Why does this bother Alice? What does it say about the existance of people, or the creation of people by God?
8. The White Queen tells Alice to believe in the impossible, afte Alice claims living to 100 is impossible. Do you believe in the impossible? Is the impossible, possible?
9. In this chapter, Humpty believes that every name including proper ones, should have some significant meaning. How does this differ or compare to what the Gnat told Alice in Chapter 3?
10. What does Humpty mean when he says that when he makes words work hard, he always pays extra?
11. In this chapter, “nobody” is confused for a person named “Nobody.” What does this say about language in the Looking Glass and what has been repeatedly said in different chapters about words and their meanings? Can you think of another story in which “nobody” is confused for a real person? (There is another story!)
12. The Unicorn tells Alice that if she believes in him, he will believe in her. What do you think about this bargain?
13. Are you like the White Knight, always prepared for everything? Why is being prepared for everything both a good thing and a bad thing?
14. Why do think all of the poems are about fishes?
Chapter 10 & 11:
No questions for these chapters.
15. Whose dream do you think it really was, Alice’s or the Red King’s?
16. Who is your favorite character now that you have read both stories?
17. What is your favorite “weird thing” in Through the Looking Glass?
18. Which story do you like better and why?
19. Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
20. Now that you have read these stories, for which age group would you assume this book was meant to be for? Why?
Discussion Project (optional): Describe your perfect Wonderland. What characters would you discover? Would your Wonderland be weird and unusual, or normal like real life?
Book Club Dare (optional): Give your copy of Alice in Wonderland away to someone else who might enjoy the story. Share the Madness! (Only give away your copy if you own it, don’t give away library books!)
Alice in Wonderland Scavenger Hunt!
Members were asked to find objects relating to the “Alice” stories and take a picture of them. Here are the results!